Are Peanuts Good for You?

Are Peanuts Good for You?

Are Peanuts Good For You?

I’ve talked earlier than in regards to the many well being advantages you get from nuts. Nuts are an incredible vegetarian supply of protein, fiber, and wholesome fat. Diets excessive in nuts and nut merchandise have been linked to lowered danger of coronary heart illness and sure cancers and have been proven to assist with weight administration. They’re comparatively non-perishable and straightforward to hold round with you.

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However probably the most generally consumed nut is just not actually a nut in any respect. Peanuts, also referred to as floor nuts, are technically legumes. They’re extra intently associated to chickpeas and soybeans than they’re to almonds, walnuts, or different so-called tree nuts.

The three Predominant Well being Advantages of Peanuts

Peanuts supply all of the well being advantages of tree nuts—which is nice as a result of peanuts are typically cheaper and extra extensively obtainable than lots of different nuts. As well as, peanuts supply just a few bonus advantages that you just don’t get from tree nuts.

  1. Peanuts are excessive in protein and different vitamins.   As a result of they’re truly legumes and never true nuts, peanuts are increased in protein than most nuts—and the protein they supply is extra full. Peanuts are additionally a greater supply of folate, which not solely protects towards delivery defects but in addition helps construct sturdy bones and offers safety towards coronary heart illness and most cancers. As well as, peanuts are a superb supply of vitamin E, a nutrient that many people don’t get sufficient of in our diets.

  1. Peanuts have some “designer” antioxidants.  You’ve in all probability heard of resveratrol. It’s a particular antioxidant, present in crimson wine and grape juice, that’s thought to have heart-protective and cancer-preventive qualities. However you might not have heard that subsequent to grape skins, peanuts are one of many richest sources of resveratrol. 

By the best way, when you’re questioning—as I used to be—whether or not the resveratrol in peanuts can also be concentrated within the skins, as it’s in grapes, it seems that this isn’t the case. The resveratrol is discovered within the nut itself, not the papery brown coating.

And right here’s a tidbit that my listeners within the Southern U.S. will admire: Boiled peanuts—that are a regional specialty in peanut-growing states—have ten occasions as a lot resveratrol as you’ll discover in roasted peanuts or peanut butter. In truth, the quantity of resveratrol in boiled peanuts is similar to crimson wine. (As I identified in my article on uncooked diets, cooking doesn’t all the time scale back the dietary high quality of meals!)

Even when you don’t look after boiled peanuts—they’re type of an acquired style—roasting peanuts additionally will increase their antioxidant capability, simply not fairly as a lot.

  1. Peanuts are excessive in phytosterols. Consuming meals that include phytosterols helps to advertise wholesome ldl cholesterol ranges and shield towards coronary heart illness. There’s additionally some attention-grabbing new analysis on the cancer-fighting potential of phytosterols. Some research have particularly linked peanut consumption (versus general nut consumption) to decrease charges of colon most cancers. 

Why Are Peanut Allergy symptoms on the Rise?

The newest analysis means that except your little one has been recognized with a peanut allergy, there’s no good cause to keep away from them, In truth, there could also be some benefits to not avoiding them.

For causes nobody can actually clarify, peanut allergic reactions have doubled within the final decade. Even when you do not have children your self, you have in all probability observed that extreme peanut allergic reactions have gotten to be a a lot greater deal recently.  The kid care facility at my gymnasium has massive indicators informing mother and father that no peanut-containing snacks could also be introduced in as a result of so many children have peanut allergic reactions. Final yr, I used to be even on a flight the place they could not serve peanut snacks as a result of there was a baby on board with a peanut allergy so extreme that having a packet of peanuts open on the aircraft could be sufficient to trigger a grave response.

Ought to You Keep away from Giving Peanuts to Younger Youngsters?

As a result of peanut allergic reactions are so frequent, the traditional knowledge has been to keep away from introducing peanuts to kids earlier than the age of 9 months. Many obstetricians additionally inform their sufferers to not eat peanuts throughout being pregnant or whereas breast-feeding. However more moderen research have discovered that avoiding peanuts throughout being pregnant doesn’t scale back peanut allergic reactions in infants. What’s extra, it seems that infants who’re given peanut merchandise earlier in life truly appear to have fewer peanut allergic reactions. (See Assets, under, for hyperlinks to the analysis.)

Examine together with your pediatrician or obstetrician for extra steerage, particularly if peanut allergic reactions run in your loved ones. Nevertheless, the most recent analysis means that except your little one has been recognized with a peanut allergy, there’s no good cause to keep away from them, In truth, there could also be some benefits to not avoiding them.

And for many who do have peanut allergic reactions, there are just a few potential breakthroughs on the horizon. One includes breeding peanuts that don’t include the precise proteins that set off peanut allergy. One other focuses on a botanical extract or drug which will block the allergic response. A 3rd possibility is a desensitization remedy. All of those stay experimental however the outlook is slightly hopeful. (See Assets, under, for hyperlinks to extra data.)

Do You Must Fear About Aflatoxins in Peanuts?

Peanuts are prone to an infection from a sure fungus that produces a poisonous compound known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring compound, not a man-made chemical. Nonetheless, it’s a identified carcinogen that’s many occasions extra poisonous than DDT. 

The chance of aflatoxin publicity from peanut merchandise produced or offered in the US is fairly low. Peanut farmers within the U.S. develop illness resistant varieties and use different controls to forestall fungal an infection on crops and in storage.  Merchandise—each these grown within the U.S. and people imported from elsewhere—are screened for aflatoxin and rejected if ranges exceed a reasonably low threshold. (See Assets, under, for hyperlinks to extra data.)

As I talked about in my article on the security of uncooked milk, there isn’t a technique to make our meals provide 100% secure. Seeing as consuming is just about non-negotiable, we’re pressured to dwell with a certain quantity of danger. In my view, within the grand scheme of issues, the danger of aflatoxin publicity from peanuts or peanut butter is de facto not value worrying about. You’re way more more likely to get E. coli from an undercooked hamburger or spinach salad than you’re to get most cancers from consuming peanut butter.

That stated, aflatoxin publicity is especially hazardous when you’ve got any type of liver illness, notably a hepatitis an infection. If I personally had liver illness, I believe I’d in all probability keep away from peanuts and peanut merchandise simply to be on the secure aspect.

Easy methods to Purchase and Eat Peanuts

My favourite technique to get pleasure from peanuts is roasted within the shell with no added salt. Keep in mind that roasting truly improves the antioxidant content material of peanuts. Dry- or oil-roasted shelled peanuts are additionally OK, however search for manufacturers which might be both unsalted or lightly-salted. Learn the ingredient checklist and keep away from any model that features MSG, sugar, or different flavorings. A serving of peanuts is one ounce. That’s about 30 shelled peanuts or 15 nuts within the shell.

You can even get pleasure from your peanuts as peanut butter. A serving is 2 tablespoons. Ideally, peanut butter ought to include peanuts, salt (when you like), and never a lot else. Keep away from manufacturers that add sugar, hydrogenated oils, and different components. Peanut butter is of course excessive in fats so it might appear as if a reduced-fat peanut butter could be a good suggestion. I’m not so positive. They normally have added sugar, salt, and different processed components like defatted peanut flour. Typically, lowered fats peanut butter isn’t even that a lot decrease in energy than common peanut butter. If something, changing energy from wholesome fat with energy from sugar is a step within the incorrect path. Go for the true stuff.

When you’ve got a suggestion for a future present subject or wish to discover out about having me communicate at your convention or occasion, ship an e-mail to You can even put up feedback and questions on my Diet Diva Fb Web page.  I reply lots of listener questions in my free weekly e-newsletter, so when you’ve despatched a query my manner, make sure you’re signed as much as obtain that.

Have an incredible week and keep in mind to eat one thing good for me!


Resveratrol content material of peanuts (USDA Agricultural Analysis Service)

Early consumption of peanuts in infance reduces peanut allergy (Journal article0

Peanut allergic reactions, kids and being pregnant (March of Dimes)

Allergen-free peanuts (Information launch)

Experimental remedies for peanut allergic reactions (Peanut Institute)

Aflatoxin controls (USDA)

Peanuts picture from Shutterstock

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